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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


School vandalism: Western Cape targeted by burglars

The total cost of repairs and replacing stolen property is still being calculated.


The Western Cape Department of Education has reported 48 incidents of burglary and vandalism which took place at schools during the December holiday season.

The department said, in a statement on Friday, that is was disappointed that its funds would now have to be diverted to fixing damage, instead of utilising it for learners’ educational needs.

“While the Western Cape Education Department provided subsidies for holiday security at 439 schools, 48 incidents of burglary and vandalism affecting 42 schools were nonetheless reported during the holiday period.

Increase from previous year end

“This is an increase from the 41 incidents affecting 34 schools reported during the previous end-of-year holidays.”

The department said damaged items included bathroom fixtures and water piping, water pumps and meters, drain covers, fencing, windows and doors, computers, IT and audio-visual equipment and cabling, lights and electrical equipment, kitchen appliances and tools, bicycles, garden tools, and consumables like toilet paper and black bags.

“Even fencing, security guards, and cameras were not enough to stop criminals from sabotaging our children’s education.”

Cost not established yet

“The total cost of repairs and replacing stolen property is still being calculated. It is disappointing that our department and our schools will once again have to divert funding that could have been spent on the educational needs of our learners to cover this entirely unnecessary cost,” the statement.

The department added that a few arrests were made and the situation is being monitored. It has also encouraged the community to report any suspicious activity on the police hotline.

READ MORE: School vandalism: Western Cape targeted by burglars

Previous statistics

In 2021, then Gauteng MEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko, said police were investigating 1 231 cases of vandalism, burglaries and theft at the province’s schools. 

DA Gauteng shadow MEC for education Khume Ramulifho said the targeting of schools has cost the Gauteng education department about R2.2 million.

“This money could be used to eradicate asbestos schools and fix deteriorating infrastructure across the province to ensure a conducive learning and safe teaching environment,” said Ramulifho.

“The department should also consider employing permanent security guards to safeguard schools, particularly in areas that have a high crime rate.”

NOW READ: Burglaries, vandalism and theft: Are syndicates targeting Gauteng schools?

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